My articles and research on ‘Featured’

The coming era of unlimited—and free—clean energy

In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones.  McKinsey & Company noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant.  It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units, and advised AT&T to pull out.  McKinsey was wrong, of course.  There were more than 100 million...

How today’s technology is rapidly catching up to Star Trek

In a distant part of the galaxy, 300 years in the future, Starship Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk talks to his crew via a communicator; has his medical officer assess medical conditions through a handheld device called a tricorder; synthesizes food and physical goods using his replicator; and travels short distances via a transporter. Kirk’s successors hold meetings in virtual-reality chambers, called holodecks,...

MIT Technology Review: Laws and Ethics Can’t Keep Pace with Technology

Codes we live by, laws we follow, and computers that move too fast to care. Employers can get into legal trouble if they ask interviewees about their religion, sexual preference, or political affiliation. Yet they can use social media to filter out job applicants based on their beliefs, looks, and habits. Laws forbid lenders from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. Yet they can refuse...

The Economist debate: Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?

The  Buttonwood Gathering 2013, New York City. My really fun debate with Nobel laureate Robert J. Shiller.   For decades, the best and brightest minds from American business schools were attracted to Wall Street by the promise of high pay and prestige. But at least since the financial crisis, high-tech companies have become an increasingly appealing destination, and today, when Silicon Valley competes...

Washington Post: The triumph of genomic medicine is just beginning

“A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures,” said a New York Times headline in June 2010.  It declared the failure of the $3 billion Human Genome Project and claimed that medicine had seen none of the benefits that Bill Clinton had promised in announcing the first draft of the human-genome sequence in 2000.  According to the article, geneticists were “almost back to square one in knowing...

How the United States is reinventing itself yet again

By Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever. We have moved from the Great Recession to the Great Malaise. Despite massive government stimulus, the world’s largest and most advanced economy continues to limp sideways. Unemployment remains stubbornly high. Growth remains slow and prospects for employment growth remain bleak. Wages continue to stagnate. Recent college graduates and young professionals may well be the...

Washington Post: To inspire tomorrow’s great female engineers, we need better toys today

While her friends dressed Barbie dolls, Lucy Sanders designed and constructed buildings with Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, and playing cards.  She learned physics by playing with her slinky, and chemistry through her chemistry set.  Sanders says that the board games she played with her family taught her strategy, empathy, and how to win and lose.  Her parents did get her a Barbie — but she and her sister turned...

Financial Times: The digital world’s other equality problem

By Gillian Tett ‘There is not simply a gender digital divide but a widening socio-economic one too’ In recent days, Vivek Wadhwa, an American technology entrepreneur and pundit, has been helping to run a “hackathon” in the San Francisco area. But this did not comprise the usual computer coding and brainstorming sessions that occur at places such as Facebook or Google. There were no hoodie-wearing...

Washington Post: The future of work is rich in technology and drawbacks

We check e-mail as soon as we reach home, and sneak a peek at our inboxes along the way. We respond to calls, texts, and messages even while on vacation. At work, we use Cisco Telepresence or Skype to confer with colleagues all over the world. Companies often allow employees to work from home for one or two days a week; some let them live in remote locations. This has all become the norm. A decade ago, we...

Washington Post: It’s time for tech companies to fix the gender imbalance

View Photo Gallery —Columnist Vivek Wadhwa spotlights women he believes would do an exceptional job on the board of Twitter and other tech companies. Technology companies have few — if any — women on their boards.  They say this is because there is only a small pool of technical women to recruit from. Twitter, which recently filed for an IPO, has no women on its board of directors.  As do most Silicon...

Washington Post: Five myths about college debt

By John Etchemendy and Vivek Wadhwa The trillion-dollar student debt burden has spawned many debates about the value of college. Some argue that we educate too many young people. Indeed, average tuition costs have gone up faster than the rate of inflation. The cost of college today is, in inflation-adjusted terms, roughly double what it was in 1980. This creates legitimate concerns about the continued affordability...

Times of India: Affordable tablets will give the poor a voice

Watching the news from India, one could easily conclude that the country has become more corrupt and that its men have become more violent. Sadly, corruption and abuse of women aren’t new to India. Corruption is a legacy of the British Raj. Women all over the world are abused. What has changed is the ability of India’s normally docile middle class and its youth to speak up and demand change. That is what...